Hope this blog finds everyone well. I am always honoured that people come by and read the stuff i have to say. I hope you have enjoyed the last couple of blogs, about Greenbelt. just to let you know, I have a third and final Greenbelt blog to post, which will come in the next few days.
However, today I want to write about something else. Because today, 10th September 2010 is World Suicide Prevention Day.
I am sure, that there are lots of blogs out there being written about today, and about this topic, so my thoughts may be nothing original or new /different or profound, however what they are is something personal to me.
I am no expert on this topic (or any other for that matter) and so all I have to go on is experience.
The experience of losing someone I loved, respected and had a lot of time for to suicide, and the experience of being in a place myself that felt like the blackest of black holes and no way to climb out of it, other than to think the best option was to die.
I was a young teen when we got a phone call, and my stepdad answered it. I knew then that something was wrong. He sounded serious. He often does, but it was a different kind of serious, and as he walked into the lounge, I knew in my heart that something had happened. As soon as he said A’s name, I put the pieces together, and knew. I don’t think I actually heard my stepdad telling me what had happened through the tears. Turns out, that A had felt he couldn’t go on any more. That was my first experience of the thing they called suicide. At that point, A was someone I trusted. He had been my youth leader for some time. Someone who hosted BBQ’s, who listened to my teenage woes, who talked me through issues when they were too much for my head to deal with. And to be honest, when i was that age I was a bit of a self absorbed. So much stuff was going on in my home life, with my brother being very unwell and a drug user, and issues with my biological dad as well, I kinda looked up to A, to be there, and had no real idea of what was going on behind ‘his smile’. The first I knew all was not so well was when he was admitted to hospital. for help. It didn’t.
I cant profess to know what was totally going on in his head. What his thoughts were. I cant profess to really know how his wife felt, and how his children coped, being very young and now beautiful young adults themselves, but dealing with the loss of a father they can only have a few memories of, as they were so little back then. I cant profess to know how his close friends felt.
The only thing I do know is that, for A, at that time, there was no other way out. None. It was his way out.
It was mine too …
April 2008 – I even remember the date exactly. My life had slowly fallen apart, over a period of a few years. I was physically unwell, and mentally in a mess. I was trying to hold on to little strands of hope, and every time I thought I had hold of one firmly it was snipped away, cut in half, broken.
I once wrote, on this blog, about feeling like a vase, being broken, into tiny tiny shards of glass. And each time glass was broken, I would think it couldnt break any more, but it did, until eventually it was a dust. Eventually, so broken there is nothing left.
Thats how i felt. thats how it was.
Its very hard to explain, because I dont know who is going to be reading this blog, and what your views are. Its hard to describe to people just how much pain and torment you can be in. Its hard to put across, that actually, there really is sometimes no way out.
I didn’t know where to turn. i couldnt see a turning. a right, a left, a forwards, or even a backwards. I couldnt see anything.
Well i lie, i could see something, it was hell. It wasnt something I could just ‘pray’ myself out of. It was not something I could just ‘get a grip’ out of. It wasnt something i could get out of without making sure I went to sleep, not to wake up again.
And , so to that end, thats what I chose to do. and took enough of the stuff I did to make sure I didnt.
Thing is , for me, I survived. Thats a whole different blog/story in itself, for another time. But i survived. It hasnt been easy since, but two years on and life is moving in a different direction, I am learning to live again with the help of some lovely super people, learning to love again, learning to smile again, and although the process is long, and sometimes very tiring, rebuilding life. and thats a good thing.
As part of that process, the last few months have seen me become more involved in supporting people with issues I myself have experience in. It involves chatting to other survivors of child hood abuse, it involves speaking out about stuff, it involves having a voice. And sometimes thats exciting, sometimes its scary too, but an important thing.
Thing is, the way I see it, is that its important that peoples perception of issues are challenged. Especially, issues such as suicide.
Its important people are not afraid to talk about it.
Its important for people to know we’re not freaks, and neither are the people who have gone before us and have not survived.
Its also important to acknowledge the pain and heartache suicide causes.
Which is why I have rambled on above.
To this end, today, on world suicide prevention day, at 8pm, in just a little while in my time zone, I shall be lighting a candle, in memory of those we have lost, those who have survived, and those who are affected by it.
I hope you are able to join me, and if you read this when the time has passed i encourage you to say a thought, or a prayer, or something in your own time.
Also, if you are struggling, the samaritans number is – 08457 90 90 90 – please give them a call, and i urge you to seek help.